Kalesar National Park
Kalesar National Park is a protected area in eastern district of Haryana, India, i.e. Yamunanagar 150 km from Chandigarh. It is a popular destination for Leopard and bird-watching. It is home to the red jungle fowl among other birds. It is a sal forest in Shivalik Hills, a name given to the foot-hills of the Himalayas is spread across 11,000 acres (45 km2). The range runs parallel with the Himalayan system from Haridwar on the Ganges to the banks of the Beas, with a length of 200 miles (320 km) and an average width of 10 miles (16 km). The elevation varies from 2000 to 3,500 ft (1,100 m). Geologically speaking the Shivaliks belong to the tertiary deposits of the outer Himalayas and are chiefly composed of low sandstone and conglomerate hills, the solidified and upheaved detritus of the great range in their rear. The intermediate valley lying between the outer hills and the Mussoorie. It was established in 2003.
The park is located in Haryana, and covers 13,000 acres (53 km2).
It is an excellent area to visit for birders and those interested in wildlife. It has a 100-year-old colonial dak bungalow. The forest rest house is at a picturesque point commands a sweeping view of the Yamuna river. Surrounded with multi-layered gardens, and as typical of the ‘Raj’ bungalow architecture, there are high-ceiling rooms, exquisite parquet flooring and teak paneling along walls. A fireplace with a mantelpiece above and antique furniture completes the period setting.
In the distance hills stand silhouetted against the first pinkish-blue light. A dirt road diverts from the highway where a faded billboard announces entry into the reserve forest mainly consisting of Sal trees. The ride is very bumpy. Among the flora is the small sindoor tree — it has dainty flowers, which turn into pods to produce the vermilion sindoor that adorns the tresses of married women.
Dense old forest
Besides the tall, leafy sal trees that constitute the dense age-old forest belt of the Doon valley, there are other trees like Semul, Amaltas and Bahera. Climbers snake up the tree stems, and the forest floor is littered with fallen leaves and foliage plants. Sculptural anthills dot the landscape. There is a watering hole created by the Forest Department to quench the thirst of wild animals. A number of pebbled dry rivulets, which come alive during the monsoon season. A vast stretch of forest clearing is in sight. It is a man-made clearing and a ‘fire line’ which helps in the intricate task of containing forest fires, which once if they start off can turn into an inferno.
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